Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bitlet's For You This Past Week: Feb 20-26, 2012

What is "Real Food" in your books?

My favorite way to cut a mango!

10 "Silly Mistakes" for anyone new to living gluten-free.

Every summer we buy a mint plant, and end up making a few mojitos then get stuck with what to do with all the rest of it (did I mention mint grows like a weed?) Here's some ideas!

Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of Monsanto's reign of terror... Maybe there's hope of a safe food system for us one day?

How does one choose the right oil for the task?

$h!t (people say to) Celiacs: it's about time!
What's going on with GMO labelling in Canada?

Glycophosphate is being found in our urine. What's the big deal? It's coming from Round-Up, that's what. Here's more.

Our food system is broken. There's so much more to it than most people think though! Go learn something, then teach someone about it!

The skinny on GMO's

We checked out some awesome stuff at Seedy Saturday this weekend. Picked up more heirloom seeds than I bet we can grow this summer and learned how to save seeds (and why it's important!). There might be one going on in your city soon!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Colon Hydrotherapy

Colon Hydrotherapy also known as Colonics is a part of the alternative health "scene", providing an alternative to traditional colonoscopy prep, a definite cleaning out of the large intestine and oftentimes a bit of weight loss. With a few exceptions (pregnant women & those suffering from congestive heart failure or rectal, colon or GI tract cancers) colon hydrotherapy can be beneficial to just about anyone.

I recently went for my first colon hydrotherapy appointment. All of the information I could find online simply told me that it wasn't going to hurt, and not to drink too much fluid beforehand, as going to the bathroom (to urinate) during the procedure wasn't an option. Both of which are true.

This painless procedure is performed in a small room with a colon hydrotherapist and yourself. Lying on a "bed" akin to a traditional MD's exam table, a speculum is gently inserted. Beginning slowly and gently, the colon hydrotherapist will guide you through a series of small "fills" of warm water until you get a feel for it and increasing from there. Sometimes a colon hydrotherapist may add specific herbs, chlorophyll, ozone or laxatives to the water. A massage to promote peristalsis can also be performed during the procedure. As I mentioned, this is completely painless- I would describe it more along a scale of discomfort. Sort of like really having to go to the bathroom but not so bad that it hurts, and without much control other than by using your voice rather than contracting muscles.

It seems that during my session I was lying down too much (not sitting up enough), so not all of the fluids were draining in between fills. Gravity for the win lose! Unfortunately this made for quite a bit of fluid remaining in my intestine when we were finished. It took a few minutes to evacuate the remainder and (as some others report) I had a bit of a spring in my step for the rest of the day!

Since a colon hydrotherapy session basically cleans out the impacted waste lining the inside of your large intestine, you can certainly weigh in at a few pounds lighter than when you began. A treatment like this can be used to help with digestive troubles & constipation, toxicity issues, parasites, skin conditions and provides an environment for healthy bacteria to flourish. It is well known that probiotics can be found in foods like yogurt and sauerkraut or taken in capsules, but the large intestine is where they live. Proper gut flora can be considered to be one of the most important components of ones immune system and therefore overall health.

Everyone's body is different and will react to treatments in their own way. Please consult your ND before scheduling your appointment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 46

Last week I told you about how we use a white board so that we know what's in the depths of our deep freeze, and have open shelving in the kitchen so that we can see what we have on hand. This reduces the number of times we buy groceries unnecessarily since we can see exactly what we have in the house. In general, this reduces that amount of stuff that goes to waste (plastic and otherwise) from our kitchen.

We also create a meal plan every Friday for the following week. Usually Saturday morning is our grocery shopping time, visiting anywhere we need to get things for our meals for the week. This way we have everything in the house that we need which not only saves us time (not making extra trips throughout the week) but also money (3 trips to the store uses 3 times more gas!).

Despite all of our efforts, here's what hit the trash can this week:

1. Melted food storage container lid
2. Lid to canister of hot chocolate
3. 2 Pasta bags
4. Garbage bag (not shown)
5. Stickers on fruit & veg
6. 3 Chopstick wrappers (not shown)
7. Salad dressing container
8. A few restaurant straws (not shown)
9. Hummus container
10. Yogurt container
11. Cheese wrapper
12. Contact solution bottle
13. Candy stick wrapper
14. Spray bottle nozzle
15. White board spray bottle
16. Shipping bag from etsy (more bulk bags- yay!)
17. 2 Bread bags
18. Emergen-C packet
19. Seal to bottle of contact solution
20. Package of "cheese powder"

On Tuesday our old refrigerator was scheduled to be taken away and replaced with a new one (yay!) While this was certainly something to be excited about, we soon discovered that the door on the new one was crooked. The next morning the company sent someone out to see if it was fixable, but unfortunately it was not and would have to go back. Thankfully I was able to get off work in time to choose a new fridge for delivery the following day ("Their delivery on Tuesdays & Thursdays only" policy would have left us fridgeless for a week otherwise!) Bright & early on Thursday our new fridge arrived! But then you have to let it sit for several hours before plugging it in... As we had taken all of our perishables out of the fridge on Monday night, they had now been (in coolers in our cold room) "unrefrigerated" for... well, several days. Friday morning I did some much needed grocery shopping (what did we eat during the week!?!) to restock our supplies. Despite this challenge (or maybe because of it), we managed to squeak by our weekly goal of 20 plastic items (hooray!).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WIAW: Feb 22nd, 2012

Extra Special What I Ate Wednesday this week! Check out everyone else that's getting in on the fun with Jenn over at Peas & Crayons

As I may have mentioned already, I spent the weekend on a yoga retreat deep in the snowy mountains surrounding Prince George. It was some time away from it all, well deserved and needed! 2 local chefs provided all meals and snacks for our getaway... vegetarian! Here's what things looked like!

Friday Dinner: Pistachio soup, Roasted Cauliflower with baby potatoes, Hummus & Mary's crackers, Cucumber pomegranate salad with kalamata olives & feta, Roasted butternut squash with dates & Pomegranate granita (regrettably unpictured)

Saturday Breakfast: Sweet potato cakes, Solomons' omelet (apples & cinnamon!), Hard boiled eggs, Assorted yogurt, Bagels (not gf), Breakfast loaves (not gf either), Oatmeal with all the fixins' (sigh), apple & orange juice with lots of fresh fruit.

Saturday Lunch: Quinoa salad with dried fruit & bell peppers, Mixed greens with toasted almonds & white wine vinaigrette, Smoky mixed bean chili (bad idea!), Tempeh sandwiches (not gf), Smoked apple Gouda quesadillas (not gf) and lots of fresh fruit.

Saturday Dinner: Green curry broccoli coconut milk soup, Raw carrot beet & ginger slaw atop Mary's crackers, Veggie stirfry with rice noodles, Yam rolls & red pepper cucumber & cream cheese sushi rolls, Asian coleslaw & Mandarin orange cream cheese tarts (also unpictured- noticing a trend?)

Sunday Breakfast: Mediterranean frittata, Spinach & red pepper potato cakes, Fresh fruit & Dried apricots (a fave of mine!)

Thank you so much to Chinook Yoga, Jaylene of One-yoga & Danielea of One Conscious Voice along with Briana & Reeanna for their amazing culinary skills. It was a fabulous weekend; I can't wait until next year's retreat!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bitlet's For You This Past Week: Feb 13-19, 2012

Having trouble keeping gluten out of your mouth? Here's help!

NOT everything in moderation... Cheating isn't okay.

While I disagree with her last point, this is "getting to know gluten 101" 

Just how unsustainable & destructive is shrimp? It's THIS BAD.

Are you coming with me to this?!!?!

An open letter to Conventional Fitness Wisdom addressing the truth (and common lack thereof).

Some really smart kitchen tips everyone should read!

What's up with all the gluten intolerances these days?

Who knew there was a link between BPA and insulin release/diabetes? What a breakthrough!

Yoga is romantic! I can totally identify with these ideas :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bitlets For You This Past Week: Feb 06th - 12th, 2012

There's a big difference between celiac & gluten sensitivity. I'm glad "they're" finally agreeing to some new classifications!

Regulating sugar. What do you think: Nanny state, or necessary intervention?

When your celiac test is negative... no, you're not just another crazy person with food sensitivities.

You don't think of your nylon or polyester clothing as being plastic, but it is. And it's not only affecting our environment, but our food chain too. Choose organic cotton or bamboo fiber clothing whenever possible!

A fantastic list of cooking tips everyone should read.

If you haven't already seen this... 

And while I haven't put much serious effort into running in a while I'm considering setting a goal for myself... A half marathon in August. I think I've lost my mind... help!

In the meantime I'll be heading out to a yoga retreat this weekend- so excited! Can't wait to fill you in on the experience. Have you been on a yoga retreat before?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday: Feb 08th, 2012

 Millet Chia toast with organic butter, walnuts & an organic gala to start my day off!

 Unpictured: Lunch (sans bellini)

Yup, I ate the whole thing...

Fail pizza... more on that later. I have a few more gf pizza mixes to review before I post my results but needless to say this one isn't high ranking...

After reviewing last week's WIAW and comparing it to this week's, I'm noticing a disturbing trend of breakfast, chocolate, dinner. I need to do something about this... bad nutritionist!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bitlet's For You This Past Week: Jan 30th - Feb 05th, 2012

How to estimate your portion sizes when you're stuck without a scale.

I can't believe I didn't think of doing this before... my green onions always end up going into the stock bag before I'm able to use them all up!

Some tips on cooking beans from dried (instead of buying cans!)

Have you tried Yerba Mate before? You might want to...

Be warned that this video shows in detail the conditions in which the companies that Wal-Mart buys their pork from raises their livestock. Is this where your food comes from? I'm proud to say that it isn't where mine comes from.

And remember that pigs are very social creatures. They're just like you and me. This should not be tolerated.

On a very related note, how is it that I haven't seen the documentary Earthlings before? Have you?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 44

The ground has frozen (no thanks to the -35 cold snap last week) to the point where it is no longer possible for us to bury our compost. And it took very little time to overwhelm our little worm bin with the amount of compost we generate. Sad. If we were going to be living here for any more than the next 2-3 years we would certainly invest in a composter, but given that we would be leaving it behind, I'm not sure it would be worth it. Rather than purchasing a ready-made composting device, maybe we could look into building one. I think we would have to speak with the family that owns the house that we rent to see if they would be okay with us installing a permanent fixture such as that in their backyard. Fortunately we're on good terms with them, so maybe it'll be a summer project!

Where I'm going with this is that we're now going to be generating quite a bit more "garbage" for the weekly pickup. Which means more bags going out. More sad. Maybe we can do something about it though?

Maybe we've done 44 weeks of things about it so far (and really have reduced the amount of garbage we send to the landfill) but one can always do better! Here's what we've eliminated from our home in 44 weeks:

Icing Sugar, Deodorant, Jars encased in plastic (such as multi-packs of pasta sauce), Chicken (or other) Stock cartons, Kale Chips,Vega Preworkout, Cream Cheese, Hair Conditioner, Sour Cream, Beverage Containers, Olive Oil, Shampoo, Packaged Mushrooms, Plastic Toothbrushes, Coconut Milk (packaged in plastic), Processed/Prepared Foodstuffs (ie dumpkings, perogies, spring rolls, tortellini etc.), Packaged Fish, Annie Chun's Seaweed Snacks, Tubed Polenta, Jell-o Cups, Avocado oil (in plastic), Ziploc bags (new), Plastic coated picture hanging wire, Alfalfa sprouts, Packaged fudge, Gnocchi, Baking powder, Replacement laptop cord (hopefully!), Bagged frozen veggies, Individually wrapped candy, Peanut Butter (in plastic jars), Cooking spray, Spices packaged in plastic, Pre-packaged lunch meat, Plastic salad dressing bottles, Instant noodles, Prepackaged granola bars, Plastic unrefillable spice grinders, Coconut milk fudgesicles, Dairy Queen, Citrus in bags, RealLime & RealLemon juice, Honey Bunny ketchup or their other sauces (unless their packaging changes), Bean sprouts (unless sold bulk), Starbucks (unless in a travel mug)

1. Packaging from large picture frame & kit
2. Packaging from package of small picture frames
3. Window in box of lasagna noodles
4. Starbucks cup & lid
5. Candy bag from Christmas
6. 5 Bread bags & tags
7. Cheesecloth package
8. Stickers on fruit & veggies
9. Cheese packaging
10. Floss container
11. Ripped Ziploc bag
12. 2 Lids & seals to glass bottles of vitamins
13. Bandaid wrappers
14. Seal to container of protein powder
15. Garbage bag for the weeks trash (not shown)
16. Pasta bag
17. 5 Plastic loops holding price cards onto metal baskets
18. Gifted "curry kit" containing several little baggies of spices etc
19. Icing sugar bag
20. Deodorant stick
21. Salad tub
22. Xanthan gum bag
23. Daiya bag
24. Black garbage bag formerly housing old grad dress
25. Tape on an envelope for a tax receipt
26. 2 Old containers from toolbox cleanout
27. Drywall plug container from toolbox cleanout
28. Bag of fresh basil

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday: Feb 01st, 2012

Happy February, friends! Thanks to Jenn of Peas & Crayons for organizing this fantastic get together again! Here's what it's all about, and here's what's on my plate this week:

Breakfast on the go this morning: banana & 1 oz hazelnuts

"Lunch" after my morning appointments: Udi's bagel with melted mozza mmm...

Snack from the health food store: Denman Island Dark Chocolate with Raspberry

Dinner (part of the use-the-stuff-from-the-pantry effort): Patak's Rogan Josh sauce with beef, onion, green pepper & green beans over brown rice with coconut

Pre-yoga snack: 60g mozzarella cheese

Late-night post yoga goodness: Magic Bullet smoothie containing 1/2 organic banana, blueberries, vanilla protein powder & almond milk. That was the plan anyways...

But I had some of this instead. Banana nearly vegan, dairy-free chocolate chunk (use little chips next time, the big chunks sink. Oh, and add walnuts too!) Bundt cake with a lemon vanilla drizzle on top- yum! I'm pretty sure this is the only thing I ever use my Bundt cake pan for... It's so tasty that I don't even want to branch out!